The Importance Of An SSL Certificate (Continued)

After writing my last post, I decided that there were a couple more things to add:

Although the convenience of handling transactions online has grown so popular, people are weary of their personal information getting into the wrong hands. For this reason, most websites which use an SSL certificate assure their customers that efficient measures to protect them have been put in place. You will always see a lock or a green bar on the left hand side of your browser’s address bar when browsing on a website which handles financial transactions. The visual assurance helps reduce cases of phishing in that a client would get suspicious if they landed on a website which does not have the lock or green bar yet it claims to process financial information.

As a client who uses online banking for their transactions, you should always be on the lookout for any signs that make you suspicious about the safety of a website. In no circumstances should you transact online if your data will not be encrypted. Although some banks guarantee that they will take responsibility should a cyber attack which leads to loss of money be launched on any of their customers, it will not come without inconveniences. Secondly, your money can always be safe and untouched but people with ill intentions are fond of using others personal banking information to launch their blackmail schemes. Always strive to be on the safe side.

The Importance Of An SSL Certificate

In this digital era when everything else including shopping and stock exchange take place on the Internet, data has never been so important an asset. Online banking gets most of the attention whenever a discussion about Internet Security comes up irrespective of the circle within which it is being held. So, if you are a client who makes online transactions through your bank account, why should you be concerned about the security measures your bank has put in place? Below is what you need to know about SSL certificates and the role they play in safeguarding online transactions.

SSL stands for Socket Security Layer and is used to encrypt sensitive information sent on the internet so that only those for who it is intended will understand it. If the data on the Internet was not encrypted, any computer between you and the destination server would be capable of reading it which means your credit card numbers, account status and other sensitive information about your bank account is exposed. Several bad things could happen to you if your data is exposed; the most common cyber crimes are identity theft, fraud and blackmail.

Apart from encryption, SSL certificates also protect the integrity of data by making authentication necessary. Authentication is the process through which a bank client will be assured that they are sending their data to the right server and not to one which is owned by someone with phishing schemes. To avoid situations where a server pretends to be a legit website and tricks clients into sending it their personal banking information, a Public Key Infrastructure is used which makes it even more important to obtain an SSL certificate from a trusted provider.

Trusted providers often give a webmaster a “badge” to display on their site in order to help people recognize the site as safe. One of the biggest SSL providers is Godaddy, and for good reason, as they are the biggest web host and registrar, and they also offer many coupons to help bring down the costs of the services they provide. (Just as an aside, here’s a really good website that you can get good Godaddy renewal codes for promo discount pricing – its just such a good source that I felt like I had to share it).

Best Practices for Accessing Online Banking on a Public Computer – Part 2

In my previous post I laid out a few of the best practices when it comes to accessing online banking with sensitive information on a public computer. Here’s three more best practices to know about:

4) Use Browser Security Tools
Firewalls are built into browsers to protect against unauthorized network roaming . Firewalls are often turned off especially when browsing at the privacy of one’s home. However, when in a public place, turning on browser firewalls is important to guard against any chance of being hacked. Firewalls can warn you of impending danger through push notifications that pop up when someone tries to access your computer.

5) Abstain from Unknown Free Networks
Open networks are always an opportunity for free browsing. However, hackers can create free networks as well and use them as bait to unsuspecting internet users. If you are using a cafe or library hotspot, the network should come with a password which is given by the attendant. In case of open networks, always confirm their validity before logging into your financial accounts through them.

6) Make Logging-Out a Habit
Forgetting to log out of a public computer is a great risk of having online bank accounts compromised. Make it a habit to log out whenever you are done checking your bank details or completing a financial account. Avoid opening several browser tabs while accessing your financial details; it is possible to forget about logging out when you hurriedly close all tabs. On the other hand, when logging in, make sure not to tick the ‘Remember Me’ option on the browser; this should only happen on your private computer back at home.

Using unencrypted internet networks can be dangerous especially when logging into online financial accounts. However, with these six best practices for accessing online banking on a public computer, your account details will always be safe from prying eyes.

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Best Practices for Accessing Online Banking on a Public Computer – Part 1

Accessing bank details on a public network has its dangers. In common cases, free and open Wi-Fi connections are unencrypted which can gives hackers access to sensitive information like account details, online banking passwords, financial records and so on. To prevent this from happening, here are the best practices for accessing online banking on a public computer.

1) Always Confirm Browser Encryption
Malicious cyber attacks can be slowed down using 132 bit encryption for website protection. This encryption is the most secure and protects user data from being retrieved by roamers. Before logging into an online banking portal, always confirm URL encryption by looking for a Padlock sign or HTTPS on the URL bar. Encryption is a key part of making the web secure, and any registrar or web host should be able to provide a SSL certificate that allows very strong encryption of data sent between your computer and the server.

2) Use New Versions of Internet Browsers
Internet browsers are revised frequently to keep their security status stronger from the newest forms of malicious hacking. Before logging into your online bank account from a public restaurant or learning institution, always make sure you are using the latest version of Firefox, Explorer or Safari. In a cyber cafe, try and download the latest browser or ask the attendant to do so before using your online bank account.

3) User Stronger Passwords
Strong passwords slow down hackers. It makes it hard to guess a password if it uses a series of letters, numbers and symbols. Moreover, never be predictable with passwords, for example using your names or letters/numbers in a predictable order. If using familiar names is inevitable, mix the letters in upper and lower case to make them difficult to guess.